Querry concerning Solid State Drives

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 30
Author Content
Bob_Robertson

Feb 22, 2012
1:44 PM EST
It occurred to me recently that I might finally be interested in Solid State Drives.

Particularly, a configuration such as using an SSD for / and a regular HD for /home. With 4G of RAM, I never seem to use swap, so I might as well put that on the SSD also.

My latest new motherboard (gave up on ASRock after the third failure, bought an Asus) has SATAIII, which would benefit greatly from the increased read/write speed of a SSD. USB3 as well, which will be nice if I ever get any USB3 capable dongles.

Has anyone had good experience with a SSD? Last I read, they were still a bit flaky and prone to failure.

Or should I just go over to Tom's Hardware or Phoronix and stop bugging you fine people?
Jeff91

Feb 22, 2012
2:10 PM EST
I've been using an SSD in my T101MT for over two years now - never had a problem with it :)

~Jeff
JaseP

Feb 22, 2012
2:23 PM EST
A big no to swap on SSD,... despite failing to use it often, doing so will kill your SSD quicker.

I'd recommend using an SSD for the (majority of) OS and other things that don't change much. But reserve any partitions that see frequent read/writes to the HD. So you could safely put /boot, /usr, /etc, /opt, /sbin, /lib, /bin and maybe a few others on the SSD. But I'd save the HD for /home, /tmp, /mnt, /media, /var, and any others where there are (more likely) frequent read/writes.

Some may disagree with me on this...
theboomboomcars

Feb 22, 2012
2:32 PM EST
I just got a new laptop with an ssd and so far I would recommend one. There are plenty of useful tips out there on setting up your ssd with linux to get the best performance and longevity from it.
Bob_Robertson

Feb 22, 2012
2:45 PM EST
JaseP,

It never would have occurred to me to put /mnt and /media on the HD, but I guess they do get written to when an external device is plugged in, even if it's just to have a new subdirectory created. Thanks.
JaseP

Feb 22, 2012
2:52 PM EST
It's just a placeholder, but if you're frequently plugging in devices, it makes sense?!?! No?!?! Wear leveling helps prevent it from being written to the same phyical space, but you already have the HD, and there's no speed advantage to having it on SSD for an external drive.
Steven_Rosenber

Feb 22, 2012
3:11 PM EST
I think the thing to do is just use the drive and figure that you'll keep backups and will replace it in 3 to 5 years.

I have some spinning hard drives that have been going for 10+ years (in admittedly intermittent use), but even a traditional magnetic hard drive has a certain lifespan. If we think of SSDs in the same way -- something with a defined yet limited usable life during which it's OK to use, that should mitigate excessive wear.

That said, OSes should take into account the use of SSDs and not write to the drive as much as they do now.
Bob_Robertson

Feb 22, 2012
3:55 PM EST
Steven,

Indeed, having an install option, just a check box, of "mount /tmp in RAM?" would be a great first step. I'll recommend it to the Debian install team.
JaseP

Feb 22, 2012
4:25 PM EST
Steven,

There are various mount settings that can be made when you use SSDs, like no tail, etc. Plus, if you have your swap there, you can limit swappiness.

All it takes is an edit of your fstab file... The only problems are that most modern fstab files use UIDs instead of defining the drive by its /dev designation and you have to careful about syntax. Editing an fstab file is like editing your grub options in that you'd better be sure to know what you're doing...

They're a PITA to fix too. I broke one on my old ASUS netbook (1st Gen. 8GB 702, with SSD) and I had to boot from a Live CD to correct the file...
Steven_Rosenber

Feb 22, 2012
6:21 PM EST
Now that SSDs are mainstream devices, all of this needs to be done in a way that doesn't include the user hacking into /etc/fstab.

I was just in there a week ago to set up my Debian Squeeze system for WebDAV, but you can't expect the average, non-technical user to hack into system files with a text editor and rootly privileges.
caitlyn

Feb 22, 2012
6:24 PM EST
I've been using an HP netbook with a 16GB SSD and no other hard drive for three and a half years. We're talking constant, daily use. It hasn't missed a beat. It's quiet and it's fast. The claims that SSDs would wear out faster than conventional hard drives was true of early technology, but from what I've read in the last few years it is no longer true at all.
JaseP

Feb 22, 2012
6:29 PM EST
That depends on usage...
jdixon

Feb 22, 2012
9:35 PM EST
> It seems like wherever we look to find nothing, we find something is there.

My Dell Mini 9 came with an 8GB SSD as it's hard drive (and Ubuntu 8.04 as the OS). I would have been better off with the 16GB one, but I couldn't justify the increased price. It's worked well and hasn't given me any problems so far. I believe it will be 3 years old this spring.

> ...It never would have occurred to me to put /mnt and /media on the HD,

The Mini 9 doesn't come with any swap enabled at all. I recently upgraded to a 2GB ,memory module from the 512 MB module it came with, and that's made a big difference in performance when using Firefox. Most laptops I've seen come with an SD card slot now. You could always get a cheap SD card and use it for things like media, tmp, and swap. When it dies, just buy another. They're easy to change out, which the SSD may not be.
tracyanne

Feb 22, 2012
11:19 PM EST
Like caitlyn, I have a net book with an SSD, 2 actually a 4Gig and a 16 Gig, it get regular daily use, and has since the Asus eeepc was released. No problems.
jezuch

Feb 23, 2012
1:48 AM EST
I've been using an older Intel SSD (X25-M) for quite some time and it works great. When I installed it, the feeling was somewhat reminiscent of when I installed my first had drive (in addition to floppies) - it was just *SO* *FAST* ;) I put my root filesystem there and mounted /home on spinning rust. I also symlinked some directories prone to disk-bashing in my home directory to some place on the SSD (things like build directories, ~/.cache etc.).
Steven_Rosenber

Feb 23, 2012
11:24 AM EST
As SSDs grow in usage (helped along by the spinning hard drive shortage due to Thailand flooding), we'll get a lot more real-world data on how long they last, how we can use them for reasonable lifespan, etc.
montezuma

Feb 25, 2012
1:02 PM EST
Bob,

In response to your Query (not Querry), I have been using an SSD on a X300 Thinkpad Lenovo laptop (Samsung MCCOE64G5MPP-OVA 64GB) for around 3 years now. Zero problems whatsoever and nice and fast. Highly recommended.
gus3

Feb 25, 2012
5:46 PM EST
Mein Gott in Himmel, por favor, quita questa SPAM! Quelle horreur!
tracyanne

Feb 25, 2012
5:47 PM EST
I was hoping no one would notice.
montezuma

Feb 25, 2012
6:24 PM EST
LOL gus. Settle down I'm just tweaking Ole Bob.
jdixon

Feb 25, 2012
8:30 PM EST
> I'm just tweaking Ole Bob.

I don't think he was referring to your comment, montezuma.
gus3

Feb 25, 2012
9:08 PM EST
It's gone.
tracyanne

Feb 26, 2012
2:41 AM EST
Someone noticed
Bob_Robertson

Feb 27, 2012
3:47 PM EST
Stuck on Windows at work. Spell checking not as reliable as KDE3.5/Trinity at home.
dinotrac

Feb 28, 2012
12:26 PM EST
@br --

Spellcheck shouldn't help. Querry is actually a word, a shortened form of equerry, which is a military officer attending to royal needs, generally horses.
gus3

Feb 28, 2012
12:35 PM EST
In other words, just so much horse sh##@!&

NO CARRIER
Bob_Robertson

Feb 28, 2012
1:20 PM EST
Ah. The subject lines are not being checked, while the text is being checked.

In the text field "Querry" is highlighted as misspelled.

But then, so is Quivver. And baka gaijin, demonstrating yet again that language is fluid, and not easy for machines to grasp.
gus3

Feb 28, 2012
2:18 PM EST
If the computer doesn't know how to spell "baka gaijin", then the computer is バカ 外人.
dinotrac

Feb 28, 2012
2:25 PM EST
@gus3 -

There's no need to be harsh!
montezuma

Feb 28, 2012
7:09 PM EST
Sorry about the spelling nazi sidetrack Bob. I can however heartily recommend an SSD.....
nikkels

Feb 29, 2012
7:26 PM EST
I don't have one, but personally know a distro developer who has one. He says he is married to it for life.

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